Middle English: from Old French muet, diminutive of mu, from Latin mutus
1 To describe a person without the power of speech as mute (especially as in deaf mute) is today likely to cause offence and the term is often regarded as outdated. Nevertheless, there is no directly equivalent term for mute in general use, apart from speech-impaired. Profoundly deaf may be used to imply that a person has not developed any spoken language skills. 2 Note that a question subject to debate or dispute is a moot point, not a mute point. See moot (usage).